Happy Earth Day Everyone!
This morning, as I was enjoying my first cup of coffee and relaxing in the solitude that comes before the kids start to stir, I came across an interesting article. It was about recipes that make the most out of leftovers. Sure, on Earth Day, everyone thinks about recycling and improving energy efficiency; there are even those who actually take steps to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. But eco-friendly meals? This had me intrigued.
How far is too far?
I definitely try to do my part, but this article really brought up some things I don’t think I’ll ever be willing to try. Top chef’s making meals using pineapple peels and pickle butts? Okay, I get that there is a lot of wasted food in this country and it is a problem that should be addressed, but I guess I’m leaning towards a more moderate approach.
Food waste is not just about wasting food in a world filled with hungry people, but it also includes the wasted energy, fuel and resources used in producing or growing the food as well as transport and distribution. The end product that winds up in the trash can brings with it a history of impact to the environment. Of course, minimizing waste can help reduce this impact and ensure you’re running a more environmentally friendly kitchen.
So, for those of us who aren’t quite ready to eat pineapple peels, what can we do?
I think a conscientious approach to food sourcing and preparation can go a long way. So can eliminating waste by making sure leftovers are used and don’t end up in the trash can. Buying local, especially organic produce, can be a great way to reduce the impact that fertilizer and transport can have on the environment. Of course, one of the easiest and most economical ways to keep an environmentally friendly kitchen is to prepare what you buy and eat what you prepare. Many people waste hundreds of dollars worth of food every month. Repurpose those leftovers and save money in the process.
Reduce Kitchen Waste and Save Money
With 5 kids, there’s no doubt that we go through a lot of food. We also prepare almost all of our meals from scratch and waste is a big no-no in this family. I definitely will use leftover meat to make a delicious fried rice or add leftover vegetables to a hearty soup or pot pie; bread that’s getting a little dry gets transformed into a wonderful French Toast Casserole for breakfast. But, sometimes, I don’t even bother trying to incorporate leftovers into new recipes.
Every few days we do a cleanout of the refrigerator and eat up any leftovers that haven’t already been claimed by a hungry kid. We typically come up with one of this and two of that, a real conglomeration; it’s kind of like a mini buffet. It’s what works for us and we throw very little away.
It’s Earth Day, a great time to think about how you can minimize waste in your kitchen and save money.
Have a wonderful Earth Day!